T Nation

Poll Results by Bodypart

Ok, so a few weeks ago I asked people to put down their honest lists of their 10 best muscle building exercises. Here are the results by bodypart (overall winner after the bodyparts).

This is almost like a good guide for what people should just fucking suck it up and do for training without all the bullshit.

Now, each exercise can be considered “plus variations” considering what some people put.

My call on where each exercise fits.

Firstly, only 2 people had calves in their top 10. I know, they suck to train, blah blah, but maybe we can all find a way to get calves into our top 10 ? (since we are supposedly bodybuilders).

Percentages here are for relative percentage of votes for that exercise, for that general body part.

First up…

SHOULDERS (top 4 only)

Easily the most clear cut result. Without doubt a classical exercise, an old favorite, that has surprised me by its dominance. As much as it is very popular, you don’t often see it recommended as a must do exercise, definitely making me reconsider…

STANDING BAR PRESS 45.7%
seated DB press 10%
push press 10%
hang clean/power clean 10%

BACK

This was an interesting one, first lets look at…

ROW EXERCISES (top 3)

lots of variations here, only exercise where people’s names preface the exercise, so here goes…

BAR ROWS 27.1%
DB Row 22.0%
T-Bar Row 20.3%

If we collapse all the ‘named’ 1-arm row variations down then we have a clear winner

DB ROWS 40.7%
Bar rows 27.1%
T-Bar rows 20.3%

BIG BACK EXERCISES (top 3)

This was a neck and neck race, and quite surprising for me too…

PULL-UPS/CHIN-UPS 35.7%
BL Deadlifts 34.8%
Rack pulls 11.3%

So how about an

OVERALL BACK (top 5)

PULL-UPS/CHIN-UPS 23.6%
BL Deadlifts 23%
DB Row (all names collapsed) 14%

CHEST (top 3)

Well, this one was a surprise. Considering all the blather from coaches about it injurying you, plus the prevalence of DC opinion saying not to do it, the old classic still came out on top

FLAT BAR BENCH PRESS 38.9%
DB Incline 20.8%
DB Bench 12.5%

BICEPS (top 3)

Lots of variation here, but again, an old classic takes the day

BAR CURLS 36.2%
Alt DB Curls 21.3%
DB Pinwheels 19.1%

TRICEPS (top 3)

Close race, with two clear favorites but one clear winner. Clear influence from the articles on this site showing through.

DIPS 42.9%
CGBP 30.2%
Deadstops 7.9%
Pushdowns 7.9%

QUADS (top 3)

Isn’t it funny, everyones out to condemn it but its not working LOL

BACK SQUATS 53.7%
Front squats 28%
Leg Press 9.8%

HAMMIES

Two horse race here, yes, you could debate whether these should go in back but with such a strong eccentric hamstring focus

SL DEADLIFT 58.3%
Good mornings 33.3%

HIPS

Hotly contested group here,

SPLIT SQUATS 27.6%
LUNGES 27.6%
Glut-ham raises 20.7%

Those are pretty sound results bro, definetly agrees with my training.

AND OVERALL…

drum-roll please

Your top 10 IN REVERSE ORDER

  1. Bar Curls 3%

  2. Close Grip Bench Press (and variations) 3.4%

  3. Front Squats 4.1%

  4. DB Rows (and variations) 4.3%

  5. Dips 4.8%

  6. Flat Bench Press 5%

  1. STANDING BAR SHOULDER PRESS 5.7%

This is without doubt the quite achiever when it comes to an exercise we use. Hurray for old classics proving their worth!!!

  1. BENT LEG DEADLIFT 7.1%

You know it, you love it!!! Great for leg drive, great for the back, great for the shoulders, great for looking awesome in the gym.

  1. PULL-UPS/CHIN-UPS 7.3%

Big surprise here. With general themes saying oh no, don’t do it, we sure do believe in it and do it!!!

  1. THE BACK SQUAT 7.8%

That’s right.

This exericise is telling everyone criticizing it to go get fucked.

It’s been around since before Mr.Boyle, and it’ll be around well after.

If it was good enough for Milo with whatever the hell it was he carried on his back all day in ancient greece, it’s sure as fuck good enough for us.

Our winner.

Our daddy.

Our alpha and omega,

THE BACK SQUAT!!!

i’m genuinely impressed, GG. very interesting.

Nice work.

I do however, wonder how may people put some of those exercises up because they’re ‘approved hardcore’ and not the most effective for that bodypart for them.

Very Nice Work GG. There were a couple that surprised me…I would have thought that the push press was more popular for shoulders. This is a very good list to stick to.

And I agree. Heavy back squats cure cancer. The naysayers can go get fucked.

Great job compiling the data. I was also surprised at how the standing press was favored over sitting, given that thread of a couple weeks ago.

Nice work.

As I was squatting last night, it occurred to me that one aspect I didn’t see mentioned in the Boyle hubbub (by any of the coaches who chimed in) was the importance of mind/muscle connection.

With a complicated movement that engages so many muscles, it can be easy to let the lower back take over or perform the movement wrong. And I don’t just mean “with bad form”, I mean performing it in a way that doesn’t maximize the stimulus to the target muscles.

It takes real focus and practice to execute the movement in a way to get the desired stimulus, as opposed to simply moving up and down completing a rep. Stabilizers can become primary movers and vs versa.

Typically, decreasing the weight and focusing on contracting the muscle against the resistance instead of just worrying about getting the bar from point A, to B, back to point A helps.

In light of that, the squat is king as an exercise for it’s primary purpose (stimulate the legs), and the ancillary purposes of stimulating all the other motor units recruited in the squat, building total body strength (can help add weight to other exercises), improving work capacity, positive hormonal response and psychological impact (e.g. “fuck yeah I’m squatting today”).

Great post, should be stickied! Glad to say I’m doing most of what is listed. I am slightly surprised by the DB bench being significantly lower than than barbell press, but I guess that comes down to personal preference and how each is executed by the individual.

B.

Awesome freaking job!! Someone should sticky this at the top of the beginner forum.

A top 5/10 supplement/food would be cool.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

And I agree. Heavy back squats cure cancer. The naysayers can go get fucked.[/quote]

Great line!!!

Nice job.

Who were the people you asked?

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Nice job.

Who were the people you asked? [/quote]

I believe it was us…

Lol I know I answered a poll he put up about 10 lifts

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Nice job.

Who were the people you asked? [/quote]

Since you posted in it, I’m assuming you’ve been drinking to much german beer recently LOL